an officer, similar to a sheriff or a sheriff's deputy, employed to execute writs and processes, make arrests, keep order in the court, etc.
(in Britain) a person charged with local administrative authority, or the chief magistrate in certain towns.
(especially in Britain) an overseer of a landed estate or farm.

1250–1300; Middle English baillif < Old French, equivalent to bail custody (see bail1) + -if -ive

bailiffship, noun
subbailiff, noun
underbailiff, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bailiff (ˈbeɪlɪf)
1.  (Brit) the agent or steward of a landlord or landowner
2.  a sheriff's officer who serves writs and summonses, makes arrests, and ensures that the sentences of the court are carried out
3.  chiefly (Brit) (formerly) a high official having judicial powers
4.  chiefly (US) an official having custody of prisoners appearing in court
[C13: from Old French baillif, from bail custody; see bail1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

mid-13c., from O.Fr. baillif (12c., nom. baillis) "administrative official, deputy," from V.L. *bajulivus "official in charge of a castle," from L. bajulus "porter." Used in M.E. of a public administrator of a district, a chief officer of a Hundred, or an officer under a sheriff.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Things went awry when travel costs rocketed and car-pools had to be arranged in
  order to keep the bailiffs from the door.
Many observers fear that action from the bailiffs will be met with violence
  from some inside.
Permitting court bailiffs to act as paid supervisors for visitations runs afoul
  of several of these provisions.
During special trials and impaneled juries certain sworn deputies act as
  special bailiffs.
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